US & Canada

The White House revolving door: Who's gone?

Trump says "you're fired" Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption On Mr Trump's reality TV show, his catchphrase was "You're fired!"

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt is the latest in a long line of senior officials who have quit, been fired, or eased out by the White House.

Here is a run-down of what they did, and why they left, starting with the most recent.


Image copyright Reuters

Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency - 6 July 2018

The lawyer served as the attorney general of Oklahoma from 2011 - 2017.

He had sued the EPA, the agency which he presided over, a number of times in his role as the state's attorney general.

Why did he leave?

Donald Trump announced that Mr Pruitt had resigned due to "unrelenting attacks" on himself and his family.

Since taking office Mr Pruitt has been mired in series of scandals concerning his spending habits and alleged misuse of office, and is the subject of at least a dozen investigations into his conduct.

As the head of the EPA, he angered many liberals and environmentalists by severely curtailing the agency's activities and repealing many measures designed to protect the environment.

The long list of Scott Pruitt controversies

While accepting Mr Pruitt's resignation, Mr Trump tweeted that he had done "an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him".

Time in post?

One year, four months, 19 days


Image copyright Getty Images

David Shulkin, Veterans Affairs Secretary - 28 March 2018

A doctor, he had served as undersecretary of veterans affairs for health under Barack Obama.

President Trump had hailed him as "fantastic" when appointing him, and the Senate gave him the only 100-0 confirmation of the Trump team.

Why did he leave?

Donald Trump announced that Mr Shulkin was resigning and that the president's personal doctor, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, would replace him.

Mr Shulkin had come under fire for alleged improper behaviour by department staff on a trip to Europe in 2017, including his own acceptance of tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament. He denied wrongdoing but agreed to reimburse the government for his wife's air fare for the trip.

Mr Shulkin won praise from veterans' groups, but his lack of action on privatising the Veterans Health Administration had angered conservatives.

In parting, he condemned the "toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive" environment in Washington.

Time in post?

Fourteen months


Image copyright Reuters

HR McMaster, National Security Adviser - 22 March 2018

A lieutenant general with the US Army, Mr McMaster served in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he worked on a government anti-corruption drive.

He replaced Lt Gen Michael Flynn, who was fired after just three weeks and three days in the job after he misled Vice-President Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

Time magazine named him as one of its 100 most influential people in the world in 2014, saying he "might be the 21st Century Army's pre-eminent warrior-thinker".

Why did he leave?

Mr Trump reportedly disliked his "gruff and condescending" manner and staff said the two never "gelled".

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly also had little positive to say about the general.

Time in post?

Thirteen months.


Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State - 13 March 2018

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President Trump announced on Twitter that his secretary of state was leaving his position and being replaced with CIA director Mike Pompeo.

The dramatic shake-up came during a delicate time for diplomatic relations, with direct talks agreed in principle with North Korea.

In a statement, Mr Trump thanked him for his service and wished his family well.

Why did he leave?

The news came just after Mr Tillerson cut short a trip through Africa, with a statement saying he returned a day early because of schedule demands in Washington.

Mr Tillerson reportedly disagreed with a number of the president's policies, including his recently announced proposal to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Mr Trump reportedly believed Mr Tillerson was "too establishment" in his thinking, US media reports.

Time in post?

Fourteen months.


Gary Cohn, Chief Economic Adviser - 6 March 2018

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The former president of the Goldman Sachs bank was appointed as head of the National Economic Council as Mr Trump took office, so becoming the president's top economic adviser.

In his time at the White House, he helped push through sweeping reforms on taxes, one of the most significant policy achievements of the administration.

But the two were not reported to be close, and rumours of Mr Cohn's departure continued to swirl.

Why did he leave?

A staunch globalist, Mr Cohn had reportedly vowed to quit if Mr Trump pressed ahead with plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the US.

According to US media, Mr Cohn initially planned to resign after Mr Trump blamed "both sides" for violence at a deadly far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

Time in post?

Fourteen months.


Hope Hicks, White House Communications Director - 28 February 2018

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Ms Hicks served as Mr Trump's press secretary and handled media requests during his campaign.

She became his fourth director of strategic communications for the Trump White House after Anthony Scaramucci was fired after just 10 days in the job.

The fashion model-turned-spokeswoman previously worked as a publicist for Ivanka Trump's fashion label before entering politics with Mr Trump's bid for the White House.

Who is Trump's media director?

Why did she leave?

Her resignation came a day after she testified to a congressional panel investigating Russian influence on the 2016 election, telling them she had occasionally told "white lies" for her boss.

Her departure came only weeks after another top aide to Mr Trump, Rob Porter - with whom Ms Hicks was reported to have been in a relationship - quit amid allegations by two ex-wives of abuse.

Time in post?

Six years in the Trump Organization, and three years with Mr Trump during his campaign and presidency.



Rob Porter, White House Staff Secretary - 8 February 2018

Mr Porter, who had been described as Mr Trump's "right-hand man", resigned after two of his ex-wives publicly accused him of physical and emotional abuse.

One woman said he had kicked her during their 2003 honeymoon, and punched her in the face whilst on holiday a few years later.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Rob Porter, pictured holding the document for President Trump, was accused of abuse by his two ex-wives

He denies all the accusations.

Explaining Trump's Rob Porter problem in three simple ways

Why did he quit?

The White House, and Chief of Staff John Kelly in particular, were feeling increasing pressure to dump Mr Porter after the accusations of violence were first published in the Daily Mail.

Questions quickly arose over how early Mr Kelly had been made aware of the accusations by the FBI, and whether that was why Mr Porter was forced to operate with only an interim security clearance.

Time in post?

One year.


Andrew McCabe, FBI deputy director - 29 January 2018

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Andrew McCabe resigned as deputy director of the FBI, where he served under current director Christopher Wray and former FBI director James Comey.

He was reportedly forced to step down ahead of his official retirement date in March, according to CBS News. His resignation came a week after a report that Mr Trump wanted him out.

The career agent became the FBI's acting director for nearly three months after the president sacked Mr Comey. He returned to his post after Mr Wray was appointed.

Why was he sacked?

The attorney has faced repeated criticism from President Trump, who claims his ties to Democrats made him partial in the ongoing Russia investigation.

His wife, Jill McCabe, ran a failed Democratic bid for a state senate seat in Virginia in 2015, during which she received $500,000 (£355,000) from a political action group allied with Hillary Clinton - a move which Mr Trump apparently found unforgiveable.

Time in post?

Two years as FBI deputy director, including a year under Mr Trump's administration.


Tom Price, health secretary - 29 September 2017

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The former Georgia congressman was a long-standing opponent of the Affordable Care Act - known as Obamacare.

Mr Price was confirmed by the Senate along party lines, amid allegations of insider trading while he worked on healthcare laws - which he denied.

As health secretary, Mr Price was involved in President Trump's repeated failures to push through bills repealing Obamacare.

Why was he sacked?

An analysis of transport spending by Politico discovered that Mr Price had, between May and late September, spent more than $1m on flights.

Some $500,000 of that was on military flights approved by the White House, but private charter flights made up at least $400,000 where commercial flights were available. Mr Trump said he was "not happy".

Time in post?

Almost eight months.


Steve Bannon, chief strategist - 18 August 2017

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Steve Bannon joined the Trump campaign after leading the right-wing Breitbart News website, which rose to prominence through its attacks on mainstream Republicans, as well as those on the left.

The website helped to elevate the so-called "Alt-right", which critics label a white supremacist group.

Like other aides to Mr Trump, he made his fortune as an investment banker, but later turned to financing film and television programmes such as the popular 90s sitcom Seinfeld.

Why was he sacked?

Some of Mr Trump's most influential advisers, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, had been pushing for his departure for months.

His firing came amid a public backlash to Mr Trump's response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which an anti-racist protester was killed by a 20-year-old man with Nazi sympathies.

Time in post?

Fired one year after being named campaign chief.


Anthony Scaramucci, communications director - 31 July 2017

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The brash, Wall Street bigwig has known President Trump for years, and defended him in TV interviews.

While in the job, he appeared to accuse then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of being responsible for White House leaks in a tweet (later deleted) that also appeared to threaten him.

Mr Scaramucci then attacked Mr Priebus and President Trump's senior adviser Steve Bannon in an expletive-filled rant on the phone with a reporter from the New Yorker magazine.

Why was he sacked?

Although he had boasted of reporting directly to the president, Mr Scaramucci's outbursts may have cost him any post alongside President Trump's new chief of staff - retired Gen John Kelly.

Mr Scaramucci's departure was announced hours after Mr Kelly was sworn-in to replace Mr Priebus.

Time in post?

Ten days (although his official start date was 15 August - so possibly minus 15 days.)


Reince Priebus, chief of staff - 28 July 2017

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The former Republican National Committee chairman was one of few Washington veterans given a top role in the Trump White House but was unable to assert his authority.

He grappled with competing powers in an administration where Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, played key roles.

Why was he sacked?

President Trump lost confidence in him and clearly wanted a shake-up in the White House, opting for a general to replace the Republican Party operative, who was seen as weak.

The announcement also came as the Republicans failed in their efforts to repeal Obamacare in the Senate.

Time in post?

Six months.


Sean Spicer, press secretary - 21 July 2017

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Mr Spicer famously kicked off his tenure as White House press secretary by defending a seemingly indefensible claim about the crowd size at President Trump's inauguration.

Over the course of his time behind the podium he became - unusually for a press secretary - a household name, and was parodied on Saturday Night Live.

Why did he leave?

Unlike most others on this list, Mr Spicer appears to have left on seemingly good terms with the president.

He stepped down after Mr Scaramucci was appointed to a role he had partially filled, saying he did not want there to be "too many cooks in the kitchen".

Time in post?

Six months.


James Comey, FBI director - 9 May 2017

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Mr Comey played a dramatic and controversial part in the closing stages of the election when he announced, a week before the vote, that the FBI had reopened an investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

He was criticised first by Democrats for the timing, then by Republicans when he said a week later that no charges would be brought.

The president grew less appreciative of him as the FBI director led an investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Why was he sacked?

The Trump administration first claimed Mr Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation rendered him no longer able to credibly lead the bureau and that Mr Trump had acted on the deputy attorney general's recommendation.

However Mr Trump soon contradicted this, calling him a "showboat" in a TV interview and saying he was thinking of the "Russia thing" when he made the decision to sack him.

Time in post?

Three years, eight months. Less than four months under Mr Trump.


Michael Flynn, national security adviser - 14 February 2017

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Technically, Michael Flynn resigned, but he was asked to do so by the president.

His departure followed weeks of deepening scandal in which it emerged that he had misled White House officials, including the vice-president, over his contact with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

Mr Flynn is said to have discussed US sanctions against Russia with Mr Kislyak before Mr Trump took office.

Why was he sacked?

It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy, and once it was established that Mr Flynn had lied about his contact with Mr Kislyak there was no question that he had to go.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the president needed the time to investigate Mr Flynn and establish his guilt, but the scandal prompted fierce speculation over what the president knew of Mr Flynn's contacts with Mr Kislyak.

Time in post?

23 days.


Sally Yates, acting attorney general - 31 January 2017

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The president fired Sally Yates after she questioned the legality of Mr Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.

Ms Yates, who was appointed by Barack Obama, believed it discriminated unconstitutionally against Muslims, and ordered justice department lawyers not to enforce the president's executive order.

Why was she sacked?

A White House statement said Ms Yates had "betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States".

It also described her as "weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration".

Time in post?

10 days.


Preet Bharara, New York federal prosecutor - 11 March 2017

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It is not uncommon for prosecutors appointed by the previous administration to be replaced as the White House changes hands, but the widely-respected Preet Bharara had been told specifically by the Trump administration that he would be kept on.

At the time of his sacking, he was overseeing several high-profile cases, including allegations of sexual harassment at Trump favourite Fox News.

Why was he sacked?

Mr Bharara was one of 46 prosecutors asked to resign by the Trump administration, which contended that it was part of a simple changing of the guard.

But there was speculation among Democrats and others that Mr Bahara's jurisdiction, which included Trump Tower, may have concerned the president.

Time in post?

Seven years, seven months. Less than two months under Mr Trump.


Paul Manafort, Trump campaign manager - 19 August 2016

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Paul Manafort, a long-time Republican political operative, was supposed to marshal some of the chaos around Mr Trump but ended up falling prey to it.

He was sacked after five months with Mr Trump's campaign, three of those as campaign chair.

Why was he sacked?

The Trump campaign didn't give a reason for Mr Manafort's departure, issuing only a statement wishing him well.

But a wave of reports in the week before the announcement alleged that Mr Manafort had received secret cash payments from a pro-Russian political party for representing Russian interests in Ukraine and the US.

Time in post?

Three months.